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All Ready, Already, All Together, Altogether – Common Mistakes in English as a Second Language (ESL)

Updated on September 29, 2012
All ready, already, all together, and altogether are two English word pairs that can be confusing.
All ready, already, all together, and altogether are two English word pairs that can be confusing. | Source

All ready and already as well as all together and altogether are often used in wrong ways by many of us learners of English as a Second Language or ESL.

This could be because some of us may be unfamiliar with the definitions of these two word pairs while others are not so sure about the spellings.

Whatever the case might be, it pays to know how to use all ready, already, all together and altogether correctly.

That way, we would make ourselves clear and avoid the inconveniences of misspellings.

Really, it does not take a grammarian to know how to use all ready, already, all together and altogether in English sentences.

Below is a brief guide on using these frequently misused English words.

When to Use All Ready

Maybe some of us English as a Second Language learners have never even heard of one of the words all ready and already.

Others might have come across both words but thought that they had same meanings but just slightly different spellings.


All ready and already actually belong to different parts of speech and therefore have different uses and meanings.

We use all ready in the following situations:

  • When we want to describe people, things, or places, then we use all ready. In this case, all ready functions like the words prepared, equipped, primed, and organized.
  • When we mean that people, things, or places are fully prepared for something, then we are saying that they are all ready, not already.

Examples of All Ready in Sentences

  1. Rio is all ready for the carnival.
  2. We are all ready to party.
  3. The samba costumes will be all ready by tomorrow.

When to Use Already

We use already in these cases:

  • When we want to describe actions, then we use already. In this case, already functions as an adverb.
  • When we mean that an action has happened previously, then we use already, not all ready.
  • When we intend to say that an action has happened before it was expected to happen, then we use already.

Examples of Already in Sentences

  • Tommy and Susan have already spent $1.5 million on their house.
  • Susan had already looked at the house. She does not need to look at it again.
  • Tommy has already bought the house for Susan, hasn't he?

When to Use All Together

Another source of confusion among us learners of English as a Second Language is the word pair all together and altogether.

We use all together in the following circumstances:

  • When we describe actions as happening at the same time, then we use all together.
  • When we describe people or things as being gathered, then we choose all together over altogether.
  • When we mean that all members of a group act uniformly, then we use all together.

Note that all and together can sometimes be separated in a sentence.

Examples of All Together in Sentences

  • We all prayed and sang together.
  • Each time we are all together is a happy time.
  • All together, we ate and chatted.
  • We gather the kids all together during Christmas and New Year.

When to Use Altogether

We use altogether in these situations:

  • When we take something in general or in its totality, then we use altogether.
  • When we consider all the aspects of something or someone, then choose altogether over all together.

Examples of Altogether in Sentences

  • Altogether, she is an amazing performer!
  • That was an altogether difficult performance but she pulled off!

Mini Test on All Ready, Already, All Together, and Altogether

  1. Is Jessica _____ for the finale?
  2. Has Jessica won _____?
  3. Her performance _____ drew in $12 million worth of advertisements.
  4. Thousands of Filipinos _____ cheered for Jessica.
  5. With her huge fan base, she is _____ a winner.

Mini Test Answers

  1. all ready
  2. already
  3. altogether
  4. all together
  5. already

Copyright © 2012 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

All Together in a Song!


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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Your beatles song add on is a good one! Thanks for the lesson on these words. Very helpful. Voted up.

    • eric-carter profile image


      7 years ago from Fulham, UK



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